Samsung rolls out Exynos patch to Galaxy S3 handsets

Samsung has started rolling out a fix for Galaxy SIII handsets that closes a vulnerability that would allow a malicious app access to crucial parts of the operating system, according to reports.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Samsung has started rolling out an update for Galaxy S3 handsets that fixes the vulnerability with the Exynos processor that potentially left a handset open to hackers.

The update started rolling out to Galaxy S3 devices in the UK on Wednesday, according to Samsung community fan site SamMobile. Samsung had not responded to a request for confirmation or further information at the time of writing.

The vulnerability bypassed system permissions on the kernel and allowed an attacker with enough determination to access various aspects of the phone, such as anything stored in RAM and camera-related features.

SamMobile also suggested that the update (I9300XXELLA) could also provide a fix for other issues such as a 'sudden death' firmware problem. This is also unconfirmed by Samsung.

While this is good news for Galaxy S3 owners, the vulnerability affects other devices using the Exynos 4210 or 4412 processors, such as some versions of the Note, Note II and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.  

The company acknowledged the potential security problems presented by the vulnerability in a statement on 20 December, promising that it would be addressed "as quickly as possible" and that a fix would be rolled out to "all affected mobile devices".

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